The New Promise
I generally read a couple of devotionals each morning, and turn to my Bible – the Living Word – to study quoted verses in context. I was captivated after reading Chapter Three in the Second Letter to the Corinthians because I’ve read this letter many times; yet upon this reading, this particular chapter somehow came alive to me.
So many new thoughts entered my heart as the words leapt off the page that it’s going to take two posts to share them with you. I hope you’ll indulge me, because there are some amazing ideas awaiting you tomorrow!
“The ministry that brought death was inscribed on stone. Yet, it came with such glory that the people of Israel couldn’t look at Moses’ face. His face was shining with glory, even though that glory was already fading. Won’t the ministry that brings the Spirit have even more glory?
“If the old ministry which brings condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry which makes us right with God? In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. If that former ministry faded away despite its glory, how much more does the new ministry which remains forever?
Since we have confidence in the new promise, we speak very boldly. We are not like Moses. He kept covering his face with a veil so the people of Israel, who were fearful of it, did not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.” (2 Corinthians 3:7-13, emphasis mine)
We are born in God’s image: loving, trusting, showing His light. As we grow and are exposed to life’s circumstances, this light dims and, in some cases, is shut down altogether. We live our lives without fully realizing the gift we have in Christ. We live by fear and the Old Law, not yet allowing the fullness of the Spirit to work in us. We have not “made straight the way of the Lord.” God’s light is shining on us, but not in us.
John the Baptist was the last Old Covenant prophet who transitioned us from the Old to the New Covenant. We have not glided on that transition fully into the New Covenant.
During Old Covenant times, when the only people who had the Spirit were the prophets, God gave Laws for people to follow so they were aware of sin, they knew the boundaries, they learned not to harm each other and they understood how to take care of each other so no one was ever in need. But as a few became educated and studied the Law, they added to it and massaged it and twisted it here and there so eventually the application of the Law became abusive, and came to benefit the educated and wealthy.
When Jesus came, he addressed the abuses of the Old Law when he spoke to the leaders of religious law. He wanted them to get back to the original intent of the law, which was supposed to bring people together in community. Upon his arrival the Old Law was fulfilled; there was no more need for a law that punishes or condemns. Jesus came to take all our wrongdoing upon himself, destroy them for all time, and bring us back, through God’s love and grace, into a right relationship with our Father.
Tomorrow: Part 2 – Shedding the Old